‘I Didn’t See That Coming!’: How a Feedback System Transforms Therapy

myoutcomes evidence based therapy

An article by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., details the client feedback experiences of Dr. Jason Seidel, PsyD, founder and director of the Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence. Seidel has been using a client feedback system to inform his method of treatment in private practice since 2004. This, according to him, “involves routinely and most importantly formally soliciting feedback from clients about the process of therapy, working relationship (with the therapist) and overall well-being.”

As Tartakovsky reports, Seidel has witnessed some tangible and dramatic developments in therapy as a result of using feedback measures:

“Take Seidel’s initial session with a male client. … Things seemed to be going great. They were making progress and Seidel felt like he had a good grasp of his client’s concerns. After the client completed the Session Rating Scale at the end of the session, Seidel noticed an 8, instead of a 10. When he asked what he could’ve done better, the client dropped a bombshell — for the last five years, he’d been having an affair, unbeknownst to his wife. The client was unsure about mentioning this to Seidel but completing the scale made him reconsider. Now, both therapist and client could address the affair in therapy, since it was a big source of distress.

“Seidel also commonly sees clients whose well-being scales don’t match up with what they describe in session. Times like these also provide important opportunities for exploration. For instance, one client discussed struggling with work, feeling lonely and going through an overall difficult time. Surprisingly, his Outcome Rating Scale showed that he was doing quite well. Noticing the stark difference, Seidel inquired further. It turned out the client was just trying to fake positivity and put on a happy face — something he felt he should do. Seidel used this as an opportunity to dig deeper exploring why the client felt they had to pretend to be happy and how this could in fact exacerbate his loneliness.”

Therapists all over the world are discovering the benefits of using client feedback to find out what’s really going on with their clients. As a proven feedback system that’s paperless, secure, and Web-based, MyOutcomes provides a fast and efficient way to understand client needs and to track and improve outcomes in order to help them even more.